By: Hassan Ghonema
Maritime traffic going in and out of Egypt’s ports would not be affected by clashes in Port Said, Suez and other regions throughout the country, head of the General Authority for Red Sea Ports, General Mohamed Abdelkader Gaballah, told Daily News Egypt.
He added that these clashes were taking place far from the city’s waterways and two security details had been established to coordinate, administer and secure all ports located in the areas of South Sinai, the Red Sea and Suez.
Security measures to protect Red Sea ports and guarantee the safe movement of traffic were established following reports of protestors attempting to break into the Port Said tourist port.
Waterway traffic was also unaffected; MRMR Gas docked at the Zayat Port yesterday carrying 11,400 tons of Butanem, and two Turkish ships, the Ruz Guard and Olympus, arrived in the al-Adabia port, carrying 98 and 92 freight loads respectively.
The passenger ship Aida Mara arrived in Ain Sokhna carrying 1,782 tourists, leaving at dawn to head towards Sharm El-Sheikh. Meanwhile the Roterdam ship left the port of Safaga on its way to the Jordanian city of Aqaba, carrying 2,180 passengers.
Freedom and Justice Party MP for Port Said Mohamed Sadek has discussed measures being taken by the second and third field armies to secure facilities and government buildings in the province.
He said currently the army’s top priority is to secure the port and Suez Canal Authority buildings in the heart of the city, pointing out that those areas located on both banks of the canal were in a state of emergency and alert. He further stated that the army was preparing to begin guarding and protecting all public facilities from attack.
He went on to say that the army had successfully secured the roads leading to the city’s western port, which would be reopened after having been closed for the last 24 hours due to protests.
Ahmed Nagib Sharif, president of the Port Said Port Authority, disputed claims that protesters had broken into the city’s western port, or the Port Authority/Tourist Authority buildings. He pointed out that the port had been closed since yesterday and that all measures were being taken to unload all ships. He further stated that any continued escalation of events would cause the port to close permanently, and that the army and police were taking steps to protect and secure all ports in east and west Port Said.
Sharif added that protesters had begun throwing rocks at the Port Authority building on Saturday afternoon after the court’s verdict regarding last year’s Port Said massacre, but that the situation had since calmed down and subsided.